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Welcome to "Out of the Box." Each Friday, we focus on an item in our Community Supported Agriculture boxes and offer a simple way to use it.

Since joining a CSA, I've found the cookbook "From Asparagus to Zucchini" to be a useful reference and good starting point for figuring out what to do with unfamiliar vegetables, aside from letting them languish in the fridge  until they expire.

With kohlrabi, first, I needed to figure out what it was. Once I got the basics from Tipi Produce's weekly newsletter (which always describes its more unique produce), I was game to try it. In past years, I've taken the light green orb, shredded it and thrown it into salads or made a refreshing slaw.

I wanted to try something new this week. Since I share a box, I ended up with one kohlrabi (two came in the box), but I didn't let that limit my options. I looked to "From Asparagus..." and found a recipe for Low-Fat Kohlrabi Cakes from Barb Bishop.

It called for four kohlrabi but I figured I could count the large one I had as two, and halve the recipe. I also fudged a couple of other ingredients based on what I had at home, and the cakes turned out quite well. It made for a delicious side with grilled salmon.

I wouldn't hesitate to make this again, and if I had more kohlrabi, I'd just double up the adapted recipe below.

Low-Fat Kohlrabi Cakes

Serves 2

  • 1 large kohlrabi bulb (or 2 smaller ones)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten with a fork or whisk
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • scant red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to heat)
  • black pepper to taste
  • olive or canola oil, for cooking

Peel kohlrabi with a paring knife, then shred it. Transfer the shredded kohlrabi to a medium bowl by the fistful, squeezing out the excess moisture (essential).

Combine kohlrabi with remaining ingredients, except oil, and stir until blended.

Heat skillet and add oil, then drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and fry over medium heat until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes per side). Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with a simple yogurt-mint sauce (1/3 cup plain yogurt, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt). Note: I was out of lemons so I used lime juice and it tasted just fine.